Camera settings

After you have familiarized yourself with the Gopro Hero3 menu structure, it is important to set certain parameters in the cameras, in order to shoot material that can be successfully stitched into a 360 video. Each of the three different Hero3 cameras has slightly different features. If you pick any other video resolution than the ones mentioned below, you will not be able to stitch a 360 video from the footage, since there is not enough overlap between the cameras.

It is absolutely important to set each of the 6 (or 7 if you are using a backup) cameras to the exact same settings: same resolution, same frame rate, same white balance, same protunes setting. Always check before each shoot that all cameras have the same settings.

Hero3 Black:

The H3B has two video resolutions that can be used with the Freedom360:

  • 960P (1280x960px) at 48 and 100 fps (final size about 3600x1800px)
  • 1440P (1920x1440px) at 24, 25, 30 and 48 fps (final size about  5600x2800px)

Pick the resolution and frame rate you think you need for your production and for your master file. Keep in mind that current 360 panorama web player and IDevices can only play back about 1920×960 at 20-30fps, meaning you need to scale down your large master file after editing, for web delivery.

Protunes is a feature that allows recording a higher data rate (about 45mbit/sec), as well as a flatter response curve (preserving more highlight and shadow details, but deep shadows will get more chroma noise as well), making video stitching far easier. You can turn Protunes on/off in the settings menu. If you turn it off, the video footage will have much higher contrast (clipped blacks and whites), as well as a lower data rate (about 15mbit/sec).

White balance: The camera has different settings, among them indoor and outdoor. Pick the one closest to your filming situation.

Recording time: Hero3 cameras will always generate mp4 files that are 2GB in size, and will automatically create a new mp4 file after 2GB, until the card is full. With Protunes on, the camera will make a 2GB file about every 6 minutes. With Protunes off, the camera will make a new 2GB file about every 18 minutes. This is independent of the frame rate and resolution. Please keep in mind that some frames may get lost when a new file is created.

 

Hero3 Silver:

The H3S has one video resolution that can be used with the Freedom360:

  • 960P (1280x960px) at 25, 30 and 48 fps (final size about 3600x1800px)

Pick the frame rate you think you need for your production and for your master file.

Protunes is a feature that allows recording a higher data rate (about 35mbit/sec), as well as a flatter response curve (preserving more highlight and shadow details, but deep shadows will get more chroma noise as well), making video stitching far easier. You can turn Protunes on/off in the settings menu. If you turn it off, the video footage will have much higher contrast (clipped blacks and whites), as well as a lower data rate (about 15mbit/sec).

White balance: The camera has different settings, among them indoor and outdoor. Pick the one closest to your filming situation.

Recording time: Hero3 cameras will always generate mp4 files that are 2GB in size, and will automatically create a new mp4 file after 2GB, until the card is full. With Protunes on, the camera will make a 2GB file about every 8 minutes. With Protunes off, the camera will make a new 2GB file about every 18 minutes. This is independent of the frame rate. Please keep in mind that some frames may get lost when a new file is created.

 

Hero3 White:

The H3W has one video resolution that can be used with the Freedom360:

  • 960P (1280x960px) at 25 and 30 fps (final size about 3600x1800px)

Pick the frame rate you think you need for your production and for your master file.

Protunes: the H3W has no protunes feature, the video footage will have  high contrast (clipped blacks and whites), as well as the standard data rate (about 15mbit/sec).

White balance: The H3W has only auto white balance.

 

A small comment on the frame rates: any notion or compatibility with old school broadcast standards is outdated: your 360 videos will be played back via the web, or any other digital device, and they are capable to play back just about any frame rate you can imagine (certain upper limits apply). Pick a frame rate that suits your action and your style, not based on your geography and your grandparents TV.

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